Letter from Fr. Marek
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is a privilege to officially form and unite the Polish community through the Polonia ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. As coordinator of the Polish Council Ministry and associate pastor for the archdiocese, it’s been my mission to build a space for the Polish community to learn more about our history in the local Catholic Church and feel a sense of discipleship in Chicago.
I was born in Poland in a beautiful, small village called Czarny Dunajec located in the southern part of the country. I finished my elementary education and always desired to attend Catholic School. Faith was such an important aspect of my family’s life and our culture, that I wanted it to be engrained in my education. In 2000, my family and I moved to the United Sates, and as I got older, I continued to feel a calling to grow closer to God. In 2007, I applied to St. Joseph College Seminary where I began the seminary formation program and in 2010, I graduated from St. Joseph College Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 2014.
Our heritage, traditions and Polish Catholic faith makes me who I am today. Our community drew me closer to God and eventually led me to my calling and His plan for me. I am extremely passionate about our culture and keeping our presence vibrant and known in the Catholic church. It’s now more important than ever that we encourage our fellow Polish brothers and sisters, and the future generation of our church, to keep faith at the forefront of their lives.
I pray that the Polonia site will serve you well. May God bless you as you become a part of this community.
Fr. Marek M. Smolka
Associate Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral
Coordinator of Polish Council – Archdiocese of Chicago